Stage set for fresh Sevens battle
June 21, 2012
Newcastle Falcons took the 2011 tournament © Getty Images
England Sevens coach Ben Ryan is relishing the start of the latest J.P Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series as he looks to add fresh faces to his squad.
The third staging of the tournament will once again see all 12 Aviva Premiership teams competing in three regional qualifiers ahead of the title-decider at The Rec on August 3. The actions kicks off at the Twickenham Stoop on July 13 with hosts Harlequins, London Irish, London Wasps and Saracens all looking to progress. The show then moves to Sale's Edgeley Park on July 20 with the Sharks, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers set to go head-to-head.
The series then returns south to Gloucester's Kingsholm with the Cherry and Whites, Bath, London Irish and Worcester Warriors in the mix. The winners and runners-up from each event will then progress to the tournament finale and Ryan hopes to discover some fresh talent ready for the step up to the HSBC Sevens World Series stage.
"Any opportunity to see young players playing Sevens allows us to expand and have another path for talent identification and talent development," Ryan told ESPN. "The tournament provides us the chance to see the young kids who we probably already know about but might not have seen actually playing Sevens.
"They might fit the mould of a Sevens player but this gives us the opportunity to see what they are actually like in a competitive environment. It's also under a little bit of duress for them. It's on television and for some of the 17 or 18 year olds, they might not have experienced that before so it's interesting for me to see how they react. As we've seen in the past, one or two often come through and pop into the England team."
J.P. Morgan Asset Management 7s Series 2012:
Pool A: London - Friday, July 13, The Twickenham Stoop
Pool B: North - Friday, July 20, Edgeley Park
Pool C: South West - Thursday, July 26
Series Final: Friday, August 3, The Recreation Ground
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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